Exposing white Finnish privilege #73: Stoking and exploiting white suspicion

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Few of us will forget the 2011 parliamentary election when an Islamophobic and no-holes-barred racist party saw the number of MPs rise to 39 from 5 in 2007.

Even if the result was a wake-up call for Finland, the reaction to the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) as a major political force. Some shrugged off the election as an anomaly and it would only be a matter of time when the PS would implode, like the Rural Party (SMP) in the 1970s.

It’s been near a decade since 2010 and the PS hasn’t imploded, disappeared but strengthened and influaneced its racist message on other parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus).

Some analysts saw the rise of the PS as a direct answer to mounting social and economic inequality.

It could be a factor, but does growing social inequality turn you into a scapegoating racist?

Certainly not unless you had such issues before.

The most successful party of the 2011 (39 MPs), 2015 (38 MPs), and 2019 (39 MPs) parliamentary elections has been the PS. Even if suffered a hiccup in June 2017, when the party split into two factions, the PS, it has survived and lived to see another day.


Not confronting the success of the PS in the political arena is similar to covering one’s eyes and being in denial. The PS is a racist party that has risen to prominence and made a name for itself, thanks to xenophobia.


Name one of the 39 PS MPs who did not get elected on an anti-immigration and anti-Muslim message?

MP Veikko Valin is one of the hardcore racists of the PS. In this tweet, he took pictures of children at a day-care center and commented on how “scary” Muslim mothers look. Source: Twitter

White privilege permits you to give half-hearted answers to social problems and to not get too worried about the rise of Islamophobic parties.

It is clear that the Trump phenomenon in the United States is possible because about 40% of USAmericans are racists and have no qualms about being led by an autocratic president.

In Finland, fortunately, the corresponding figure is about 17%.

In both cases, our education system and our moral checks and balances have failed at least a large part of the population.

White privlege is the fuel that keeps it going.

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